WASHINGTON — The White House says there are two words President Barack Obama will not say Tuesday night in his speech about the end of the U.S. combat role in Iraq: "Mission accomplished."
Seven years ago, President George W. Bush stood on an aircraft carrier to declare an end to major combat operations in Iraq. A banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished" flew nearby. The Bush White House came to deeply regret that sign as the war dragged on and U.S. deaths mounted.
"You won't hear those words coming from us," Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said. Instead, Gibbs said, Obama will talk about what is involved in the U.S. troop drawdown and the changing mission in Iraq.
However, Obama does plan to call Bush on Tuesday before delivering his Oval Office address, Gibbs said, though he wouldn't say what Obama's message to his predecessor would be. Obama also called Bush last year before delivering a speech laying out the Iraq withdrawal timeline.